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High Intra-Tumor TGF-β2 Predicts Poor Survival in Pediatric Cancer of the Brainstem

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-The TGFβ1 and TGFβ3 isoforms are predictive

–Validation of TGFβ2 as therapeutic target

AGOURA HILLS, Calif., March 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc (OTCQB:OTLC) (“Oncotelic”, the “Company” or “We”), a developer of treatments for rare and orphan indications, including Parkinson’s Disease, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (“DIPG”), and COVID-19, today announced the publication of High Intra-Tumor Transforming Growth Factor β2 Level as a Predictor of Poor Treatment Outcomes in Pediatric Cancer of the brainstem. Links to the publication can be found below.

Uckun, F.M.; Qazi, S.; Trieu,V. High Intra-Tumor Transforming Growth Factor Beta 2 Level as a Predictor of Poor Treatment Outcomes in Pediatric Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Cancers 2023, 15, 1676. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15061676.

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Pediatric cancer of the brainstem, including DIPGs, is one of the most aggressive and deadliest childhood brain tumors. In spite of numerous clinical trials of chemotherapeutic agents, immune-oncology drugs, and specific targeted therapies aimed at improving the survival outcome of these patients, little progress has been achieved and the prognosis remains dismal, with a median survival time of approximately 10 months and a two-year survival rate of less than 10 percent.

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the clinical significance of amplified expression levels of transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGFβ2) in the tumor tissue specimens from these patients. Our findings provide the first evidence that high level TGFβ2 expression is associated with a poor treatment outcome. The reported results also support the notion that further evaluation of the clinical potential of new strategies targeting TGFβ2 in pediatric cancer of the brainstem is warranted.

“OT-101 is the only TGFβ2 inhibitor that is in late clinical development. As TGFβ1 and TGFβ3 are not prognostic, we believe that previous clinical failures, including bintrafusp alfa, could be rectified by targeting TGFβ2 instead” stated Dr. Vuong Trieu, CEO and Chairman of Oncotelic.

A clinical study protocol looking at treatment of pediatric cancer of brainstem with OT-101 has been accepted onto the National Institute for Health and Care Research (“NIHR”) portfolio. NIHR is the British government’s major funder of clinical, public health, social care and translational research.

About Oncotelic

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Oncotelic (f/k/a Mateon Therapeutics, Inc.), was formed in the State of New York in 1988 as OXiGENE, Inc., was reincorporated in the State of Delaware in 1992, and changed its name to Mateon Therapeutics, Inc. in 2016, and subsequently to Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc. in November 2020. Oncotelic is seeking to leverage its deep expertise in oncology drug development to improve treatment outcomes and survival of cancer patients with a special emphasis on rare pediatric cancers. Oncotelic has rare pediatric designations for DIPG,through OT-101 through its 45% joint venture GMP Biotechnology Limited (“GMP Bio”), with Dragon Overseas Capital Limited (“Dragon”); for melanoma (through CA4P); and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (through OXi 4503). Oncotelic also acquired PointR Data Inc. in November 2019 to create a biotechnology company with artificial intelligence capabilities.

During the 4th quarter of 2021, Oncotelic acquired AL-101 for the intranasal delivery of apomorphine. We intend to develop AL-101 for the treatment of Parkinson Disease (“PD”). Over 60,000 new patients are being diagnosed with PD in the United States and currently there are over 1 million patients in the US and expected to increase to over 1.2 million by 2030. In addition, approximately 10 million suffer from this disease globally. https://www.parkinson.org/Understanding-Parkinsons/Statistics. AL-101 is also being developed for Erectile Dysfunction (“ED”). ED is the most prevalent male sexual disorder globally. The percentages of men affected by ED are as follows: 14.3-70% of men aged 60 years, 6.7-48% of men aged 70 years, and 38% of men aged 80 years (Geerkens MJM et al. (2019). Eur Urol Focus. pii: S2405-4569(19)30079-3). However, with the increasing administration of PDE5 inhibitors in clinical practice, it was found that approximately 30-35% of ED patients are treatment failures (McMahon CN et al. (2006). BMJ, 332: 589-92). AL-101 is designed to target treatment failure ED patients who do not respond to PDE5 inhibitors. Through similar mechanism of action, AL-101 is being developed for Female Sexual Dysfunction (“FSD”). Female sexual dysfunction is a prevalent problem, afflicting approximately 40% of women and there are few treatment options. FSD is more typical as women age and is a progressive and widespread condition. (Allahdadi, KJ et al. (2009) Cardiovascular & hematological agents in medicinal chemistry, 7(4), 260-269). There is no available drug for the treatment of FSD. In June 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Vyleesi (bremelanotide) to treat acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (“HSDD”) in premenopausal women. This is the only available drug treatment. Vyleesi has essentially replaced the only other drug for HSDD – however, it has a long list of drug-drug interactions, including commonly used antidepressants, such as fluoxetine and sertraline. In addition, it has a black box warning regarding its use with alcohol, a combination that has been associated with hypotension and syncopal episodes. Therefore, there is an urgent need for effective therapy against FSD and HSDD.

About OT-101:

Oncotelic jointly owns OT-101 with its joint venture partners Dragon and GMP Bio. OT-101 has completed seven clinical trials including one phase 2 trial in COVID and two phase 2 trials in brain cancer and against pancreatic cancer. It has pediatric designation for a rare form of pediatric brain cancer known as DIPG. There are about 200-300 new cases of DIPG every year in the United States. DIPG most often occurs in children aged 5-10 years old. Treatment options are limited with surgery being contraindicated. Most children do not survive more than 2 years after diagnosis. Currently, the main treatment for DIPG is radiation therapy. Although radiation temporarily improves symptoms in most patients, it is not a cure. Paliative care or quality of life services help patients and families manage pain and other symptoms, promote quality of life, and making difficult decisions including treatment choices and end of life care.

When COVID-19 emerged in China, Oncotelic and Golden Mountain Partners, an affiliate of Dragon and GMP, entered into a research and services agreement in February 2020 to develop and test COVID-19 antisense therapeutics. In March 2020, Oncotelic reported the anti-viral activity of OT-101. The anti-viral activity of OT-101, in an in vitro antiviral testing performed by an independent laboratory, OT-101 has a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of 7.6 µg/mL and is not toxic at the highest dose of 1000 µg/mL giving a safety index (SI) value of >130, which is considered highly active and on par or superior to Remdesivir – a Gilead drug. Unlike Remdesivir, OT-101 targets not only the virus replication but also the virus induced pneumonia and fibrosis. Our Phase 2 trial was completed for OT-101 in South America. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study intended to evaluate the safety and efficacy of OT101 in adult patients hospitalized with positive SARS-CoV-2 and pneumonia. As reported in November 2021, the top line data was positive for safety and efficacy. For more information, please visit www.oncotelic.com

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Oncotelic’s Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this communication regarding strategy, future operations, future financial position, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. Words such as “may”, “expect”, “anticipate” “hope”, “vision”, “optimism”, “design”, “exciting”, “promising”, “will”, “conviction”, “estimate,” “intend,” “believe”, “quest for a cure of cancer”, “innovation-driven”, “paradigm-shift”, “high scientific merit”, “impact potential” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about future plans related to the operations of the JV, taking the JV into an initial public offering or the success thereof, the progress, timing of clinical development, scope and success of future clinical trials, the reporting of clinical data for the company’s product candidates and the potential use of the company’s product candidates to treat various cancer indications as well as obtaining required regulatory approval to conduct clinical trials and upon granting of approval by the regulatory agencies, the successful marketing of the products; building and the success of our nanoparticle platform and the related success of launching the platform, the success of the launch of a company with a DAO infrastructure, the success of the entity and the plans surrounding the pet and animal health, the ability for the Company to register the tokens of Pet2Dao, the actual filing of a registration statement and approval of the tokens as registrable securities with the SEC through a registration statement, the ability of the tokens to be tradable or any value such tokens may have if they become tradable.. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements or may not occur at all. Many factors may cause differences between current expectations and actual results, including unexpected safety or efficacy data observed during preclinical or clinical studies, clinical trial site activation or enrollment rates that are lower than expected, changes in expected or existing competition, changes in the regulatory environment, failure of collaborators to support or advance collaborations or product candidates and unexpected litigation or other disputes, taking the Company or its affiliates through initial public offerings. These risks are not exhaustive and the company faces known and unknown risks, including the risk factors described in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on April 15, 2022 and in the Company’s other periodic filings. Forward-looking statements are based on expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, the Company does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Contact Information:

For Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc.:

Investor Relations

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[email protected]

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ZA Tech Rebrands as Peak3, Raises US$35M Series A led by EQT

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SINGAPORE, June 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — ZA Tech, the next-generation insurance core system SaaS provider, has rebranded as Peak3. With the successful completion of its US$35 million Series A fundraising from EQT (lead investor) and Alpha JWC Ventures, Peak3 now accelerates its expansion in the EMEA region and investments in complementary data and AI solutions.

In a market dominated by fragmented legacy technology, Peak3 has pioneered a cloud-native, modular insurance core and distribution system that combines comprehensive capabilities for life, health, and property and casualty (P&C) insurance. Since its founding in 2018, Peak3 has become a trusted technology partner to global insurers such as AIA, Generali, Prudential, and Zurich for their digital and traditional business. It has also partnered with leading digital platforms such as Carro, Grab, Klook, and PayPay to build and scale their embedded insurance businesses.
Besides the successful fundraising, Peak3 has recently achieved key milestones underpinning the rebranding. These transformative achievements include launching its first multi-country, multi-tenant core modernisation in Europe, rolling out an integrated customer data and big data platform for scaling analytics and AI capabilities, and establishing its first technology centre in Europe. The rebranding coincides with another major milestone: Issuing over a billion insurance policies on Peak3’s systems – including the first policies issued to North American customers and the first ones to be issued in Africa.
“We have evolved from an embedded insurance pioneer in Asia to a global end-to-end technology partner for the insurance industry,” said Bill Song, Peak3 Group CEO and Co-Founder. “Our new name represents three pinnacles: scaling the heights of innovation, surpassing performance limits, and delivering superior reliability – as we help insurers reach the highest summits of their cloud, data, and AI transformation.”
Bill Song also emphasised the growth opportunity: “There is an incredible tech investment backlog in the US$7-trillion global insurance industry. Continued digitalisation and the proliferation of AI will require structural investments by insurers over the next decade to modernise their core systems. We are uniquely positioned to capture this opportunity by providing the tech core foundations and innovation use cases.” 
To accelerate its growth journey, Peak3 completed its Series A fundraising and welcomed two new investors on its cap table: EQT, a major global technology investor with a deep heritage in Europe, and Alpha JWC Ventures, a leading venture firm in Southeast Asia. With the funding, Peak3 will advance its analytics and AI capabilities toward an intelligent core insurance solution, grow its EMEA operations and establish new system integrator partnerships. Peak3 targets double-digit ARR growth this year and is on the path to reach cashflow breakeven over the coming quarters.
“Peak3 has also proven its capability to deliver greenfield digital insurance initiatives and complex multi-country core modernisation projects in APAC and EMEA. As the lead investor, EQT is committed to empowering Peak3 in its go-to-market acceleration by leveraging our global network,” stated Clara Ho, Partner at EQT.
J.P. Morgan acted as exclusive financial advisor to Peak3 for this Series A fundraising.
For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Carling Sia, Global Head of Branding and Marketing, at [email protected].
For more information on Peak3, please visit www.peak3.com. For more information on EQT, please visit www.eqtgroup.com.For more information on Alpha JWC Ventures, please visit www.alphajwc.com.
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Lucinity Recognized as One of the Top 100 AI Fintech Companies Globally

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REYKJAVIK, Iceland, June 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Lucinity has been featured in the AIFinTech100 list for 2024, marking its recognition as one of the top AI companies in the financial services industry. The AIFinTech100 list, curated by industry experts, highlights the most innovative fintech companies globally. Lucinity was selected from over 2,000 fintech firms for its problem-solving, market potential, innovation, and customer engagement. Earlier this year, Lucinity was also highlighted as a RegTech100 company.

 
 
This recognition comes amid rapid AI adoption in fintech. According to Fintech Global, research predicts the AI market in fintech will grow from $42.83 billion to $44.08 billion by 2024, reaching $50.87 billion by 2029. Banks alone are expected to spend $4.9 billion on AI platforms by 2024, with a 21.8% annual growth rate since 2019.
Lucinity’s inclusion in the AIFinTech100 list reflects its success in developing AI solutions that enhance efficiencies and cost savings for financial crime operations teams. Notably, Luci, the world’s first Generative AI copilot for financial crime investigations, launched in 2023, leverages Microsoft OpenAI technologies to augment human analysts’ capabilities, reducing investigation times from 3 hours to just 30 minutes. 
Lucinity also recently launched Luci as a copilot plugin at Money20/20. Financial institutions are now able to integrate Luci with any web-based enterprise application including CRM systems, Case Manager systems, and Excel, delivering immediate ROI with zero upfront integration. 
Security remains a significant challenge in AI adoption. Lucinity addresses this by partnering with Microsoft Azure develop a secure infrastructure. With a strong emphasis on compliance, Luci offers comprehensive auditability through its detailed Audit Log functionality.
Guðmundur Kristjánsson (GK), CEO of Lucinity, comments, “Being named in the AIFinTech100 showcases our impact amongst banks and fintech through advanced AI. It underscores our platform’s ability to empower compliance teams, deliver ROI, and reduce operational costs.”
Richard Sachar, Director of FinTech Global, added, “AI is revolutionizing financial services, increasing efficiencies and offering personalized products. This year’s AIFinTech100 list includes top innovators transforming the industry with AI applications.”
Lucinity’s inclusion in the AIFinTech100 list for 2024 follows several achievements, including winning the Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards for Sustainability and Social Impact and Partner of the Year – Iceland. Lucinity was also included in Chartis Research’s FinCrime and Compliance 50 Ranking for 2024 and was recognized as the best tool for Workflow Automation.
Name: Celina PabloEmail: [email protected] +354 792 4321
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CRISIL wins Model Validation Tools and Accelerators category award, other recognitions from Chartis

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Recognized among top 50 financial services firms for analytics and risk tech
MUMBAI, India, June 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — CRISIL, a global provider of advanced analytics and risk management solutions, has won the Solution Category award for Model Validation Tools and Accelerators as part of the latest Chartis STORM 2024 report.

Published by Chartis Research, the leading provider of research and analysis on the global market for risk technology, STORM 2024 is an annual report on quantitative technologies and the computational infrastructure supporting it.
Following an extensive evaluation process, which included a risk technology survey, product demo, customer reference checks, and third-party sources of information, CRISIL won the following recognitions:
Solution category award for Model Validation Tools and AcceleratorsRanked Top 25 (#24) in QuantTech50 2024 rankingsRanked Top 25 (#24) in BuySideRisk50 2024 rankingsRanked Top 50 (#38) in RetailFinanceAnalytics50 2024 rankingsThe recognitions reflect the unparalleled value CRISIL brings to its clients through deep domain expertise, specialized analytical and technical knowledge and our global perspective.
Says Jan Larsen, President and Head, CRISIL Global Research & Risk Solutions, “CRISIL is honored by the recognition across multiple STORM50 award categories this year, including being named first place for Model Validation Tools and Accelerators. This is a great testament to the contributions of our team in giving clients and their regulators confidence in the models they use for making critical decisions.”
The core tenets of CRISIL’s value proposition include expertise across asset classes and risk stripes, analytical excellence and regulatory experience, tailored solutions focused on client delight, continuous improvement and technological innovation. 
Says Ashish Vora, President, CRISIL Market Intelligence and Analytics, “This prestigious recognition underscores the global acceptance of our risk management solutions and highlights our unwavering commitment to excellence in the risk technology space. Our Credit+ technology solutions have been instrumental in offering AI-enabled advanced analytics and driving efficiency, and we are particularly proud of the exceptional client feedback we have received for these solutions. We are constantly exploring new ways to enhance customer value and are investing in cutting-edge technology and domain expertise to maintain our position at the forefront of the industry.”
Notable examples of CRISIL’s platforms that help demonstrate this value proposition include: 
Model Infinity: A leading platform for model inventory management and model risk management. This innovative platform empowers our client to centralize all model activities, eliminates manual processes and operational risk, and provides a full audit trail of approvals for modeling assumptions and updates. Scenario Expansion Manager (SEM): A platform for clients to expand, analyze and track all regulatory and internal scenarios used for stress testing. As a centralized repository of scenarios, SEM allows institutions to eliminate redundant internal work and even provide clients the ability to share internal scenarios with one another. Credit+ ICON: The platform enables credit decision-making through its extensive financial spreading and front-end based credit risk scorecard hosting capabilities. Powered by deep domain expertise, AI-driven analytics and extensive configurability, it serves 40+ global clients across 15 countries.Credit+ Early Warning Signals: The AI-powered solution provides banks with actionable insights to monitor their credit quality, lower loan-loss contingencies and track corrective action plan.About CRISIL Market Intelligence & Analytics
About Global Research & Risk Solutions
About CRISIL Limited
Connect with us: LINKEDIN | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | FACEBOOK 
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This press release is transmitted to you for the sole purpose of dissemination through your newspaper/ magazine/ agency. The press release may be used by you in full or in part without changing the meaning or context thereof but with due credit to CRISIL. However, CRISIL alone has the sole right of distribution of its press releases for consideration or otherwise through any media including websites, portals, etc.
CRISIL has taken due care and caution in preparing this press release. Information has been obtained by CRISIL from sources which it considers reliable. However, CRISIL does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of information on which this press release is based and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of this press release. CRISIL, especially states that it has no financial liability whatsoever to the subscribers/ users/ transmitters/ distributors of this press release.
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